Monday, February 22, 2010

Street Fight

A good political documentary. The film doesn't even go into the issues, really, it just focuses on how many problems Newark has and how the political leadership has failed to solve them. One of the most surprising things for me was seeing Al Sharpton (and Jesse Jackson?) endorse Sharpe James, the incumbent mayor who obviously is not really helping the city. I knew that Jackson played politics quite a bit, but Sharpton, especially during his presidential campaign, struck me as somewhat bombastic, but also a bit separated from partisan politics. He was never going to win even one state during the primaries, so he said a lot of things were really excluded from the mainstream conversation. Seeing him endorse someone who is obviously at the top of a very insidious political machine was a bit disappointing, but I guess it's all in the game.

Fast Food Diet

It is really a sign of how poor our eating habits have gotten in this country when people start looking for ways to lose weight without giving up eating fast food. The author doesn't mention until the middle of the page that the item that the spokeswoman lost so much weight on, the Fresco Ranchero Chicken Taco, has 740 milligrams of sodium. That's in one taco. One taco for lunch, one taco for dinner, and you barely manage to stay in the acceptable range of sodium for normal adults. And who the hell eats one taco for lunch and one for dinner? Doesn't sound like an enjoyable lifestyle. And even if you do manage to lose weight on these diets, you are likely taking years off your life by not eating any fresh vegetables except for the iceberg lettuce they put on your taco to garnish the chicken and cheese.

As the article linked to above the Mayo Clinic above mentions, 77 percent of the sodium in the average American diet comes from eating prepared or processed foods. That is, it is not because you put salt in your scrambled eggs, as the first paragraph mentions for some reason. Adding a pinch of salt to your baked potato or scrambled eggs is not the problem, it's adding a pinch to your fast food french fries that is causing heart disease in so many Americans.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Good for the Crowd, I guess

but the fact is that this guy was an invited speaker and is chairman of a non-marginal conservative youth group in the most populous state in the country.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Like Talking to a Wall

Winsonsin Republican gubernatorial candidates want to cancel the state's high speed rail project even though it has already received federal funding. Upper Midwestern folk in Minnesota and Wisconsin have always seemed a bit more savvy than people living to their south, so I doubt this will get huge support.

But it's annoying to see the line that always gets repeated about "non-riders subsidizing the riders" of the train/bus/subway. It's bullshit. The gas tax does not pay for all road construction. The Interstate Highway was constructed out of the general fund, so therefore non-users were subsidizing it. Ryan Avent sums it up well here.

It seems like no matter how many it gets said, some people don't hear it. What is it about mass transit and rail that makes even seemingly intelligent libertarians such as Ron Paul miss forest for the trees?

One Year In

It's been a little over a year since Obama took office. There seem to be various factions among those who voted for him that either excuse his conduct of the past year as "pragmatism" or are outraged that he has not delivered on his promises.

I tend more toward outrage.